Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's the deal: Kitchen Cabinets

I want white cabinets. I have picked them out. They live in a little place called a catalog. But, in recent weeks I have been a little disappointed with their price. Could I possibly get them cheaper and have the same look? I investigated.

My choice: Maple Shaker-style semi-custom cabinets painted white.

Cheaper option: Laminate faced cabinets, which would run be about 30-60% less.

In looking into if this is something to consider I took the advice I received from many to look at the Ikea cabinets because many have said "I know Ikea can be crap, but the cabinets are pretty good". Um, I had my doubts. Now, the cabinets are about 60% (or more!) less than those I had picked out but you have to put them together. Now, for all the Ikea furniture I have put together I have learned: it's not fun and it's easy to break something or mess it up. When I argued the drawers felt horrible in the store the response from Ikeans (those are supportive of Ikea and all their wares) replied "Do you know have many people have pulled on those drawers?". Yeah, but of I average a lifetime of use it might be the same thing. Needless to say, no dice.

The next choice is to get the laminate or thermofoil cabinets at a big box store. They come put together and can even be installed for you. So, not bad. They have a similar construction to the cabinets I picked out, but the front is coated in a laminate (or plastic paper sheet) that allows for easy cleaning and care. Sounds good I thought? But, then I heard about the drawbacks. Bubbling, burning, warping. Since it really is just paper on your cabinets, if you get them wet for too long they will tend to warp. Spill hot coffee down the side and uh-oh you may have a problem. You've all seen something of plastic get too hot - so you know what I am talking about. My folks still have burned counters in the bathroom my sister and I used growing up from hot curling iron (what's up mall bangs!) - not saying it was me, just sayin' I know what happens to laminate. I even read one testimonial from a woman whose toaster warped her cabinets above it. And, since you can't just sand them down or re-paint, you have to either replace the door or the cabinet. I guess this just didn't seem that appealing to me.

That said, my maple cabinets are still my numero uno!

What to read more about cabinets? Check out this Better Homes & Gardens article: http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/kitchen/cabinets/kitchen-cabinet-material-types/?page=1


Jamie said...

In this time of leanness, or just for the sake of frugality anytime, make sure you check out two places before buying just about ANYTHING new for the house:

Community Forklift

The Loading Dock http://www.loadingdock.org/

Both are non-profit places that offer all sorts of stuff from cabinets, appliances, building materials, you name it at ridiculously low prices. You may not find exactly what you want, but you really never know. I've done pretty well.

Cabinets can be tough if you need to fit a space, but you could end up with a big set that covers your needs with some extras.

Ben said...

Hey Jamie!

I love Community Forklift! I picked up a few things (that don't really fit my needs anymore and might just end up back on thier shelf). It's a great place and I have the Loading Dock on my book for places to go also and I look forward to checking out what they have!

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